July in Chicago means fireworks, the annual Taste of Chicago for foodies, the famed Ravinia Festival, and more neighborhood music events than you can imagine. As always, we have the scoop on what's hot and what's not. Here's to a great summer in the city!
- Average high temperature: 84°F (29°C)
- Average low temperature: 63°F (17°C)
- Average precipitation: 3.7 inches for the month of July
What to Wear
- We recommend checking out Chicagoland shopping malls for additional apparel, including comfortable shoes if you plan to walk a lot.
- The weather is warm enough to explore neighborhoods and restaurants on one of the city's many walking and biking food tours.
- There is a bump in hotel prices thanks to increased demand during the tourism high season.
- There is also a higher chance of flight snafus or travel problems in general, especially if a storm comes through; here's where to dine and drink if you get stranded at one of the airports.
Good to Know
- Chicago beaches as well as the top indoor and outdoor pools are open.
- Top Chicago spots for summer dining and drinking
Hot July: Enjoy Chicago's Finest Frozen Treats
- Black Dog Gelato. In a few short years, BDG has become synonymous with high-quality frozen treats. Accomplished pastry chef and proprietor Jessica Oloroso uses only the highest quality ingredients in her gelato—the same high quality her adhered to in the highly regarded pastries she made while working under celebrity chef Stephanie Izard at Girl and the Goat restaurant. The Whiskey Bacon Gelato Bar is a best seller, and one you must get when the store first opens. It's nonalcoholic, so even children can partake. Black Dog is located in Ukrainian Village, which is adjacent to Wicker Park in downtown Chicago. 859 N. Damen Ave.; 773-235-3116
- Cocoa + Co. Located a few blocks south of Lincoln Park Zoo, the adorable chocolate-focused cafe has expanded its menu to include gourmet ice cream sandwiches during warmer months. You can choose from four flavors, and each is stuffed with locally based Homer's Ice Cream that's been rolled in pecans, peppermint candies, crushed Oreos or chocolate chunks. 1651 N. Wells St.; 312-624-8540
- Cone. An Irish-themed ice cream shop? That's the deal with Cone, which serves specialty frozen treats in the West Loop neighborhood. At the top of our list is the Irish mint chocolate cone that resembles a shamrock when you order four scoops. Enjoy all that goodness on the spacious back garden patio, which is especially popular in the summer as a venue for children's birthday parties. 1047 W. Madison St.; 312-666-5111
- Firecakes. This River North artisanal pastry shop put the ice cream donut sandwich on the menu in 2013, and it became an instant hit. Try the luscious square donuts filled with housemade vanilla bean ice cream in all their golden, glazed glory. 68 W. Hubbard St.; 312-329-6500
- Maple & Ash. "Sundae Service" is what the posh Gold Coast steak house is calling its chic towering ice cream presentation, which arrives with hot fudge, salted caramel, toasted nuts, candy, whipped cream, and seasonal fruit. It's enough to feed the entire table, and it's offered every day. 8 W. Maple St.; 312-944-8888
- Original Rainbow Cone. At this far South Side institution that's been around since the Roaring '20s you can order classic ice cream flavors like black walnut, butter pecan, and New York vanilla. But why do that when you can order the Original Rainbow Cone: a heady stack of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (named in honor of the landmark Chicago hotel), and pistachio ice creams, with a little orange sherbet thrown in? If you don't have time to go all the way to the South Side, you can sample it at the annual Taste of Chicago foodie event. 9233 S. Western Ave.; 773-238-7075
- Parson's Chicken & Fish. Offering the largest beer garden in hip Logan Square, Parson's specializes in fried chicken, large-format beers and craft cocktails. One of the biggest attractions is Parson's original Negroni slushy—a classic cocktail combo of gin, Campari, and vermouth. 2952 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-384-3333
July Highlights and Events
- Movies in the Park (through August)
- Chicago SummerDance in Grant Park (June 23–Sept. 10)
- French restaurants and bars celebrating Bastille Day (July 14)
- Fourth of July fireworks at Navy Pier, plus other fireworks around town (July 4)
- Chosen Few Picnic & Music Festival (July 1–2)
- Taste of Chicago (July 5–9)
- Pitchfork Music Festival (July 14–16)
- Taste of River North (July 21–23)
- Wicker Park Fest (July 29–30)
- Ravinia Festival (July 17–Sept. 17)